In August, two People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals activists were arrested in Peoria, Illinois, after they stripped to their underwear and stepped in to over-sized displays designed to look like a supermarket meat package. A sign on the package read, “Only cannibals eat animals. Go vegetarian.”
Eric Deardorff, 24, and Melissa Sehgal, 28, were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct outside the headquarters of Caterpillar Inc.
PETA campaign coordinator Chris Link was also ticketed for obstructing the public right of way. Link told the Peoria Journal Star that the arrests came as a shock,
This was quite surprising. The officers didn’t give us any warning or say we were doing anything wrong. They just started throwing blankets [over the protesters].
Another PETA protester was arrested in 2001 in almost the same spot after disrobing to protest cruelty. Charges in that case were eventually dropped.
Peoria police Sgt. Henry Minton told the Peoria Star Journal,
They will be charged with disorderly conduct, obstructing the public right of way and maybe protesting without a permit.[Protesters will be arrested] if they come here and take their clothes off, obstruct the sidewalk when they disrobe in the city of Peoria.
Two anti-meat activists arrested. Elaine Hopkins, Peoria Journal Star, August 25, 2005.